Sharbot Lake, Ontario: Perfect Getaway in Frontenac County
If you’re like us, nothing says vacation quite like a quiet cottage on a beautiful lake. In fact, probably most of Ontarians could agree that summer isn’t complete without a trip to Ontario’s cottage country.
And if you’re looking for a breathtakingly beautiful lake to spend your next vacation at, Sharbot Lake, Ontario might just fit the mold.
Nestled in the heart of the Frontenac County, Sharbot Lake is one of eastern Ontario’s hidden gems. With crystal clear water and plenty of activities to keep you busy, it’s no wonder this lake is such a popular spot for tourists and locals alike.
In this complete visitor’s guide to Sharbot Lake, Ontario, we’ll highlight Sharbot Lake Provincial Park and the village of Sharbot Lake itself. We’ll also take a look at where to stay, what to do, and what you can expect in the Sharbot Lake Area.
Sharbot Lake, Ontario
Sharbot Lake is a beautiful region located in eastern Ontario, Canada. The area is well-known for its clear air, fresh water and stunning scenery, making the perfect getaway from Toronto in pretty well any season.
Cottagers and campers in the warm seasons can enjoy activities such as hiking, fishing, water sports and swimming. In the winter, visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing.
With a popular provincial park located right next to the village, this little town sees lots of tourists both from around Ontario as well as from the northeastern American states.
We’ll begin by taking a look at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park, and then take you around the village and surrounding areas.
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is a beautiful park located on both Sharbot Lake and Black Lake, and offers both camping and day-use opportunities from May-October each year.
Day use visitors will be charged entry for the day, which gives access to the Day Use Area on the sandy shores of Black Lake. This area includes a picnic area, playground and restrooms.
Black Lake is a much smaller and calmer lake than Sharbot Lake, making it the ideal spot for canoeing and kayaking, with canoe rentals available in the park.
Fishing is also a popular way to spend the day in the park, with Walleye, bass, Northern Pike and perch populating both lakes.
There are also two short hiking trails in the provincial park: Discovery Trail (1.2 km, moderate loop) and Ridgeview Trail (0.5 km, easy/moderate out-and-back).
Camping at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park
Camping at Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is of course a popular option for visitors, with over 150 forested sites available. The majority of these are located on Black Lake, while some butt up on Sharbot Lake.
Some sites are smaller than average and cannot accommodate your car at the site (with parking options near these sites), and others are large enough to park at.
If you’re planning on camping in a large trailer, you’ll want to book a spot at the Beach Front or Maple Grove campsites.
Campers at Sharbot Lake have access to both lakes, with a portage trail connecting the two. This is a great spot for nature enthusiasts who want a good taste of what northeastern Ontario has to offer, and as such, might expect to see turtles, loons, and possibly even black bears (though sightings at the park are rare).
On the downside, the proximity of the park to Highway 7 and County Road 38 means traffic sounds are noticeable throughout much of the park. If you have the choice, a campsite further from the highway is likely to yield less noise from the highway, but don’t be surprised if you can still hear the trucks driving by.
Canoes can be rented from the park store and the prime waterfront location of this provincial park means watersports are one of the most popular things to do! Sharbot Lake is even suitable for larger boats and waterskiing.
Fun Fact: If you happen to be driving an electric vehicle, you’ll be happy to know that there is even a charging station by the campground comfort station.
Sharbot Lake Village
Sharbot Lake is a small village of around 1400 year-round residents in eastern Ontario. A popular tourist destination in the summer, Sharbot Lake’s population doubles or even triples in the summertime.
The village is located on the namesake Sharbot Lake, with the Sharbot Lake Provincial Park just across the water.
The village of Sharbot Lake has a few small businesses and restaurants catering to tourists in the summer, as well as some basic services such as a gas station and grocery store.
It also has a small, maintained community beach boasting fresh, clear lake water.
Stores in Sharbot Lake
If you’re planning on spending any time in the Sharbot Lake area, you’ll likely need to stop at one of the village’s stores for food and supplies. Here’s a basic rundown of what’s available in town.
Mike Dean Local Grocer: This small grocer focuses on providing fresh, local products at value prices. It’s a well-stocked store with a lot of variety and quality products.
Pharmasave: A pharmacy located right across from Mike Dean Local Grocer.
Cardinal Cafe & Shop: A cafe offering breakfast and lunch options as well as awesome coffee, snacks and ice cream. Situated in an old church, this cafe is a must-visit while in Sharbot Lake.
Sharbot Lake Country Inn & The Crossing Pub: A local inn offering rooms and suites (with kitchens and living room), as well as a restaurant and boat rentals.
Sharbot Lake General Store: A small store on Highway 7 offering a range of groceries, general supplies, and camping equipment as well as a Petro Canada gas station.
LCBO: Located on Highway 7 (next to the General Store) before entering the village of Sharbot Lake.
Gray’s Grocery: A simple bakery, deli and grocery store located near the General Store just off of Highway 7.
Esso Gas Station: Located on Highway 7 before turning onto County Road 38 to get to the village.
Sharbot Lake Home Building Centre: A small hardware store located on County Road 38.
9 Top Things to Do in Sharbot Lake
Sharbot Lake is a great spot for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. With easy access to two lakes, Sharbot Lake and Black Lake, there are plenty of opportunities for swimming, canoeing, fishing, and more.
The village of Sharbot Lake also offers a few small shops and restaurants as well as a community beach.
Here are some of the best things to do in Sharbot Lake:
1. Boat, Swim, Canoe, and Fish in Sharbot Lake
Water sports are definitely one of the best things to do in Sharbot Lake! Whether you come with your own boat or rent a canoe or kayak from Sharbot Lake Inn or from within the provincial park, getting out on the water is a great way to spend a summer day.
Sharbot Lake is also a great spot for fishing, with both Walleye, bass, Lake Trout, Northern Pike, perch and sunfish plentiful in these waters.
2. Visit Sharbot Lake Provincial Park
Sharbot Lake Provincial Park is a great spot for picnicking, swimming, and hiking. The park also has a few nice sandy beaches that are perfect for swimming and relaxing on a hot day.
There are also two short hiking trails within the park, perfect for exploring the natural beauty.
3. Visit Silver Lake Provincial Park
Just a short drive from Sharbot Lake Village is Silver Lake Provincial Park, another great spot for swimming, hiking, and picnicking.
This seasonal park (May-September) also has a two sandy beaches as well as a 0.5km boardwalk Marsh Trail for walking and spotting wildlife.
4. Enjoy a Meal or Coffee at Cardinal Cafe & Shop
This cute cafe, located in an old church, is a great spot for breakfast, lunch or coffee. The Cardinal Cafe & Shop also has a nice patio for enjoying your meal in the fresh country air.
5. Walk the Kick & Push Rail Trail
This 19km trail runs straight through the village of Sharbot Lake and is perfect for a leisurely walk or cycle. The trail takes you past the Railway Heritage Park and through some beautiful countryside.
6. Visit the Kick & Push Railway Heritage Park
This park is dedicated to the former railway that ran through Sharbot Lake. The park has a few interpretive displays as well as a restored caboose that you can explore.
7. Thomson’s Cut Walking Path
This is a short walking trail located near the Sharbot Lake Community Beach. The trail follows Thomson’s Cut, an old abandoned railway line, through forested area.
8. Swim & Play at Sharbot Lake Beach
This beach, located in the village of Sharbot Lake, is a great spot for swimming, relaxing on the sand, and picnicking. The beach playground is great for the kids and there are also public washrooms available.
9. Shop the Saturday Farmer’s Market
Every Saturday from July-September, Sharbot Lake comes alive with the Saturday Farmer’s Market. This is a great place to stock up on local fruits and vegetables, baked goods, honey, artisan crafts, and more.
Where to Stay in Sharbot Lake
There are a few different accommodation options in Sharbot Lake, namely a Bed and Breakfast, an Inn, vacation rentals (VRBOs), cottages, AirBnBs, and camping.
Bed & Breakfast: Rock Hill Bed & Breakfast has exceptional ratings and is a trusted accommodation in Sharbot Lake. Guests especially love the hospitality of the owners and the delicious breakfast in the morning.
Inn: Sharbot Lake Inn is a great option for those looking for a more traditional hotel experience. This inn offers both rooms and suites.
Vacation Rentals: There are a number of VRBO vacation rentals in Sharbot Lake, perfect for families or groups.
AirBnBs: AirBnBs are also available in Sharbot Lake and usually have all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Camping: Camping is available at both Sharbot Lake Provincial Park and Silver Lake Provincial Park.
Driving from Sharbot Lake to Ottawa
If you’re driving from the Sharbot Lake area to Ottawa, here’s some basic information you should know. As the nation’s capital, Ottawa is definitely worth visiting at least once in your life (or during your visit to Ontario)!
How far is Sharbot Lake from Ottawa?
Sharbot Lake is located about an hour and a half from Ottawa, and the scenic drive makes for a perfect weekend getaway during your stay in Eastern Ontario.
There are two main routes you can take:
1) Highway 7 all the way from Sharbot Lake to where it becomes one with Highway 417 taking the 417 the rest of the way into Ottawa.
2) Highway 7 until just past Perth, where you will turn right onto Tennyson Road then follow a few country highways until you eventually merge onto Highway 416 in Ottawa.
Unless you want the scenic route, you’ll probably be best to stick with the simplicity of Highway 7.
When we made the drive from Sharbot Lake to Ottawa, we took a brief stop-off in the quaint tourist town of Perth.
Perth is a great spot to explore for an hour or two, where you can find lots of cute shops and unique restaurants. A stroll through the historic village and along the Tay River will give you a good taste of the town.
And if you’re really craving a “taste”, stop in to The Perth Cheese Shop for some delicious local cheese, sausage or chocolate!
Wrap-Up: Sharbot Lake, Ontario
Sharbot Lake is the perfect spot for a nature-filled weekend getaway. With plenty of things to do outdoors in both the village and in the nearby provincial parks, this little slice of Frontenac County is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
So, whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or explore the great outdoors, let Sharbot Lake show you what cottage country is all about!
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Erie is the owner and author of Everywhere Ontario. She’s lived and traveled around Ontario for over 30 years, visiting small towns and big cities from the shores of Lake Erie to the crisp northern air of Hearst along the Trans-Canada Highway. She is passionate about maximizing fun and supporting local tourist businesses and is always looking to provide the best recommendations to her fellow Ontario travelers. Read more about Erie here.